HyperSync Wedding Portraits by Eric Uys

Sure, you can use PocketWizard’s HyperSync® technology to freeze exciting high-speed sports action, but did you know you can also use it to create stunning portraits outdoors no matter what the natural lighting conditions are?

Here’s some examples of what photographer Eric Uys regularly pulls off using HyperSync for portrait sessions, including some behind-the-scenes shots by his assistant, Tarryn Ward. 

In his own words, Uys gives us his thoughts on how he uses HyperSync to create work clients keep returning to him for.

©Eric Uys

©Eric Uys

Eric Uys behind-the-scenes by Tarryn Ward. ©Tarryn Ward

Eric Uys behind-the-scenes by Tarryn Ward. ©Tarryn Ward

At first I thought I had stumbled upon a strange freak glitch of some sort. I searched the Interwebs but could find no information on HyperSyncing with studio flash units. That’s mainly why I have not updated or fiddled with my firmware, they are still stock standard. This was all two years ago and it really was strange. I chatted with many local photographers and they looked at me as if it was witchcraft or magic. It was incomprehensible to many until I showed them and even then some still did not believe me! So I went about shooting with my little secret. It was great but also strange. Like waking up and suddenly having x-ray vision. I even did a workshop on it in 2011.

I remember chatting to a fellow photographer about this “discovery” I made and how significant it was in the world of photography. Essentially somehow something impossible is now possible. It would be like telling people surgeons can now do open heart surgery without ever having to cut someone open. It was lightyears ahead of any known thinking and what was physically possible.

©Eric Uys

Using the sun as a key light. ©Eric Uys

Eric Uys behind-the-scenes by Tarryn Ward. ©Tarryn Ward

Eric Uys behind-the-scenes by Tarryn Ward. ©Tarryn Ward

I shoot with a Nikon D3 and a D800. I use a PocketWizard MiniTT1 and two FlexTT5 radio triggers. Lighting wise, when I have the budget, I will use Profoto, but most of the time I shoot with an Elinchrom Ranger Quadra kit with an S Head and one AlienBees 1600w mono light with a Vagabond Mini battery pack. I also have an Elinchrom D-Light 400w studio kit which I use for studio work or run off an AlienBees Vagabond mini battery (but don’t tell anyone!

©Eric Uys

Using the sun as a secondary rim light. ©Eric Uys

Eric Uys behind-the-scenes by Tarryn Ward. ©Tarryn Ward

Eric Uys behind-the-scenes by Tarryn Ward. ©Tarryn Ward

I will usually use flash units when shooting outside in bright sun conditions and I like having shallow depth of field in my shots. Not always but most of the time. It also allows me to shoot something that has a unique look to it. My style is already pretty unique so this I feel gives me a slight edge. I like people to wonder how I did a shot.

©Eric Uys

Our model was Carla Bester. ©Eric Uys

 

Eric Uys behind-the-scenes by Tarryn Ward. ©Tarryn Ward

Eric Uys teaching a workshop featuring HyperSync. Behind-the-scenes by Tarryn Ward. ©Tarryn Ward

My clients are always thrilled with the results of my work and I have been fortunate enough to have clients who put their trust in my abilities instead of being just a guy with camera gear.

 

You can learn more about Eric Uys on his main site, his photography site, and his wedding blog. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. On Instagram, you can find him posting as “therealyrealninja.”

Images and quotes in this post are used with permission and ©Eric Uys, all rights reserved. Behind-the-scenes images are used with permission and ©Tarryn Ward. Story is ©PocketWizard. Please respect and support photographers’ rights. Feel free to link to this blog post, but please do not replicate or repost elsewhere without written permission.

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8 Responses to “HyperSync Wedding Portraits by Eric Uys”

  1. Mike Button says:

    I really did like your use of lighting, though it looked too staged but of course that was what you were doing and I get that. Anyway… Thanks for posting this work. I’m still learning (all over again) after 20 years off… Yes… I’m an old school photographer at 57 trying to fit in or at least just fit with digital. Having fun though and supplying my camera needs.

    Thanks!

    Mike

  2. Jean-Pierre says:

    Great article. Eric personally introduced me to hypersync portraits two years ago and it is indeed exciting technology! Thanks Eric and Pocketwizards!

    • Ron Egatz says:

      Thank you, Jean-Pierre. On behalf of Eric and PocketWizard, you are certainly welcome!

  3. Sam says:

    I personally love to use hypersync, just wondering what would have changed if you are using speedlite instead of studio kit? Thanks.

    Sam

    • Ron Egatz says:

      It is possible to use a speedlight. However, the very short flash duration — 1/1000 and faster — would limit the success in using faster speeds. Studio flashes with longer flash duration makes HyperSync work best.

  4. Eric: I too am excited about the possibilities of Hypersync with my 2 Alien Bees 800s. When I watched Mark Wallace’s PW video on Hypersync, both PW modes caused him problems. In one mode, you get a black bar at the bottom of the shot, and with the other mode, you get a gradient throughout the image. He just cropped them out. How do YOU deal with these issues, or did you even have them? Thanks a million for the info…..Richard Hollingsworth

    • Ron Egatz says:

      Richard — here’s the reply from Eric.

      Hi Richard, very glad that you are excited about this as everyone should be! Fortunately I never had any issues. I just used them stock standard and it worked. The thing is I have an American Alien Bees version that is a 110V version and I also have an European Version Elinchrom that runs at 220V so it could not be a voltage issue. Are you on Canon or Nikon? I have noticed that some Canon cameras have been giving problems with the sync function. It can also be the cable that you are using. I have two cables and on one flash the one works and on the other the other flash works. One of them I cant plug it in all the way, then it wont work but if I jiggle it a little loose then it works. Hope this helps! Cheers. Eric